Author Topic: How to pull off a relocation to different province (work + housing etc.)?  (Read 2044 times)


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My partner and I have been thinking about relocating from Montreal to Toronto. We both have well paying jobs here with CoL factored in, but we aren't happy at work, and the mandatory French is a problem. We also feel most opportunities aren't in QC.

We've been thinking about relocating to Toronto for the last year, but because this is scary we never got around to doing it. We're not sure how to proceed so that we don't fall on our asses with nothing to show for it and a couple of thousands wasted.

How do you go about it?

Should we both look for a job and the first one to get one triggers the move? Or should we wait to both get a job then move?

How about housing, where do you live for the first couple of months where you have to find an apartment while going to work?

How do you estimate the salary adjustment you'd need to keep the same standard of living? Looking at stats canada, salaries are the same in Montreal and Toronto but rents aren't. Because we're both in tech, we're assuming it wouldn't be that big a problem to get higher than average salaries (which is usually the norm in tech).

Any other general advice?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 01:24:13 PM by moustacheverte »


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Re: How to pull off a relocation to different province (work + housing etc.)?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2016, 02:55:49 PM »
We have relocated several times, not inter-province but internationally.  I'll share what we did FWIW, though our situation was a bit different from yours.  My husband was the only one with a FT job, so we did not have to coordinate two jobs.  I picked up what side gigs I could once we arrived and settled in; in some cases, I was not legally allowed to work in the destination country.  We also had a pretty long lead time--academic jobs, with start date a few months after the offer.

About housing.  We arranged housing ahead of time, by looking at online ads, networking with coworkers in the new job, contacting rental brokers,  and networking with friends in the destination city.  We signed a year's lease.  You could find a long-term airbnb for a month or two and then go apartment hunting instead; airbnb didn't exist in our day!

If average salaries are the same in TO and Mtl, I'd expect tech salaries to be about equal also.  Assuming food etc cost about the same, to keep the same standard of living, your salary would have to increase by the amount your rent would increase.

The big question is how much you depend on both salaries to live.  If you can scrape by on one salary, or nearly so, and both your job prospects are good, then I'd say go when the first one accepts a job offer.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: How to pull off a relocation to different province (work + housing etc.)?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2016, 08:00:30 PM »
I've done interprovincial moves several times, and also moved from Ottawa to Toronto. This was as a single person. I also have married friends who have done the same.

One person needs to gets a great job first. A job that person is really, really excited about. Do everything you can to find a job that will pay relocation costs. It won't cover everything, but it makes a difference. You can also deduct some expenses on your income tax. Make sure you optimize this, so that if there is a maximum on the job relocation costs, you are able to deduct remaining expenses where you can on your tax.

Make sure you research living costs really carefully, including utilities, property taxes, and income tax. Hydro may be a big deal in Ontario.

Find a place to live before you move. Most relocation policies cover a trip or two to find a place to live. My late mother's advice: find a place you really, really like, even if it takes some time. In Toronto, that includes finding a place near (or an easy commute to) things you really, really like to do.

Seriously think about renting. For a long time. Maybe forever. I have wasted many thousands by buying several places in a row, and then moving on within a few years. Only one appreciated to my benefit.

Don't underestimate the time or cost of commuting. Try the commute at the times you'll be travelling.

Most provinces require a safety check of your car(s) before licensing. Ontario has strong emissions standards. If your vehicle(s) are old, a lot a repairs may be needed or it may not be possible to get the car registered. When I moved to Alberta it costs $3000 to get the various dings repaired so I could register my older Neon.

Weirdly, take it with a grain of salt what locals tell you. (For example, I was told it would be easy to find a place to rent with a dog when I was moving to rural Alberta. Not so. Rural people think dogs belong outdoors. City people think dogs belong indoors, in all the rooms in their house.)

But have fun!


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I've moved interprovincially a few times. I would recommend that one person has a good job in Toronto before the move. Use Airbnb to find a short term rental near your workplace, or take a long weekend/4 day weekend to go house hunting near your new workplace. If you have friends/family in T.O. you can also ask them to look at places for you and rent site unseen (which is what I did once - thankfully it worked out), or you can  crash at their place for a few weeks if your new company doesn't provide relocation assistance. You could also arrive a few weeks before your start date and look for housing together.

If you haven't found suitable housing by the start date, the partner with the job can go to work while the other person takes some time walking around and getting to know the neighbourhood, and looking for longer term housing. Once longer term housing has been secured and furnished, the other partner can focus on finding work that is conveniently located to where you live.

Regarding salary adjustment, that's hard to say. I would think you should look for work that is in the same or higher salary range as your current job. In all my moves both interprovincially and abroad, I've never really considered salary adjustments, and I've lived in some of the highest HCOL cities in the world. It was more about choosing job opportunities that were fulfilling, and I've found that the HCOL areas also have more job opportunities and higher salaries in general.

In T.O., I would live walking distance to a subway station. I would also ideally work walking distance to a subway station. Otherwise, I would choose to live and work way out in the boonies/suburbs and drive/bike a short distance to work each day. The worst would be to live in the suburbs and have to drive downtown every day...on the Don Valley rush hour traffic...shudder...